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tv   Close Up  CSPAN  February 18, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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number of these countries and the economic and social pressures that were building in a number of these countries, particularly related to the 15 to 29-year-olds with educations and can't get a job. and the petty corruption and nepotism that makes life difficult for ordinary people. and clearly, ben ali was quite surprised by what happened in tunisia. he didn't expect in two weeks to be pushed out of power. and i think president mubarak was in the same situation. and i think the u.s. -- there's been a lot of tooling unfurling about how we've handled this, but the truth is i think the u.s. has pretty to distantly, primarily privately, but also
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publicly encourage these regimes for years to undertake political and economic reform because these pressures were building. these pressures were building. .. relatively perceived static situation in their country to appreciate that it's not static that these pressures are building and they do need to get out in front of it as i think what we've been trying to do. >> our advice and encouragement may hold weight in this region and other regions of the world
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as we move forward. as the leaders of those countries look at the example of egypt and perhaps others. i have to wonder what british intelligence services were generated in 1776. i think there were be stepping points to you talk about it can't be predicted. thank you again for your service. >> thank you very much, senator udall and i have one additional point and will close it because i know you folks are running late on your schedule and that is toward the size of the afghan army. i want to give you some statistics about preparing the iraq army and the afghan army and nine of the situations are different but i still want to give you the statistics. iraq has fewer people than afghanistan. afghan population is about 30 million, iraq about
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27 million. but in iraq, you've got 665,000 iraqi security forces. in afghanistan you have the goal, the 378,000 would be the new target if it was accepted, so it would still be about half the size of the iraqi security force with more people to secure. so first of all i would based on that but some other things not agree that the increase, the proposal for the increase would be more than they would need even if over a time there would be the lesser need for security. be the lesser need for security. hopefully there will be a lesser need and obviously if there is you can reduce it, but i wouldn't necessarily plan on there being the need for less
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than 378,000. secondly, when you describe a surge force in your mind, mr. secretary, i would hope dhaka surge force you believe it should be looked at as would be the surge force should be the 378 and not the current level so that it would be the additional 70 viewed as the surge and not the current level, which i believe you spoke as a surge force. >> the budget we submit it would accommodate the additional growth. >> all right, that's reassuring. finally, i totally agree on the need for an object and honest view about the cost. i think that is essentially and that's where you pointed to rightly so. but i would just reiterate my hope that when you meet with your colleagues at the nato
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ministerial that you would drive home the fact that there is going to be an ongoing need whether it is a 305,000 or whether or not it is a 378,000 that there really needs to be a sharing of the burden among the nato allies we cannot carry the 12 billion alone i agree, but just it's been kind of spotty in terms of the nato support on the trainer's site not nearly still what we'd hoped for, but you are properly given some good agreed this to those that have come through. >> a lot of our nato allies really have and some have taken greater losses than we have and we should recognize that. but i really would hope that you would reinforce they are going to need a significant military security force, that that is the ticket to success as well as an exit ordered least significantly reduced number of foreign troops which in turn is part of success
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and they should come through financially with some ongoing expected support for the afghan security forces. it would be my summary. >> one quick comment. i've been working me to pretty hard sense to listen for 35 never seen them more together than they have become over the last couple of years in this mission, and your comments earlier about our area, or maybe it was senator lieberman, but success bodes well for the future of nato and that succeeds the opposite. there are 49 countries total that are providing forces right now so there's not a lot of non-nato contributing who have made a difference as well and are very focused on sustaining that for it period what time. some of them very small numbers like a understand but they have made a difference and we appreciate their contributions as well. >> i made the mistake of saying nato when i should have said
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other coalition forces. doherty absolutely right and a number of those countries have made contributions way out of proportion to population, we out of proportion to their financial ability, and i think we should recognize that loss is sometimes even out of proportion as well and we do appreciate that. we want to thank you for coming in garfinkel for your service. we hope to see more of you, stick to the gates and admiral mullen. we love to have you here and know that you don't have too many more physics, but again, we hope and know that all of them will be as helpful as this one was this morning. secretary, thank you. we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations] >> senator levin, michigan, thousands going right now when
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you can't brief the pentagon budget. >> i have a question for ed oral mullen, you want to know why they beef up in pakistan because or drones keep killing innocent or drones keep killing innocent people. >> and socialist military freeloaders. this welfare state of the military. >> at drives our country by the continuing war in afghanistan that can't be won and the american people do not support. >> and the welfare state of the military. >> i think secretary defense gates was not telling the truth when he talked about how much money we are spending on the military. it is 56% of the treasury funds. it is a lower military budget and we spent more on the military than the rest of the world combined.
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>> [inaudible] which is 56% of our budget. >> stop funding the war is ruining our country on the war ruining our country on the war we can't win and the american people do not support and closed the military bases overseas and stop making these ridiculous weapons we don't even need any more [inaudible] we love this country and hate to see it destroyed the [inaudible] h
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the wisconsin state journal "wi looks like thissc morning with e headline state of chaos and continuing protest walker plans saul's after a walkout and one'' of the reporters violence on the story from the senate
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e reporters on the senate is on the line. first of all, the missing legislators, apparently they have been found. is that correct? guest: they have been found. we talked to them. they say they don't know when they are coming back actually. they have been traveling around illinois. they were spotted in rockford at a belltower resort. they have kind of been traveling quite a bit. host: the requirement for debate to continue in the senate, there and 19 republicans. they need 20 members on the floor for debate to proceed? caller: for a vote on a fiscal measure, which in this definitely has a fiscal components. to vote on anything that has to do with the budget they would need at least one democrat there. host: we showed you "the washington post" this morning with reports that the democratic
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national apparatus has been getting involved, encouraging the protest, encouraging people to support the union and in members to be involved. have you seen evidence of that? guest: i seen a lot of tweets from organizing for america -- it does not feel like it is the vast majority. we have seen a lot of uw students either marching or heading up state street, the big st. from university to the capital. a lot carrying sleeping bags and pick it signs. a lot of teachers coming down from various parts of the state. it does not seem like the vast majority of people certainly that i have talked to are from out of the state. host: what will happen today? what is officially on the agenda and what is likely to happen in addition to that? caller: the senate says and they are ready to come back and they will try to take it up again. but when i talked to one of the democratic senators last night, just before midnight, he said
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they will stay away as long as it takes. that they don't have a plan to come back. i guess they could have changed their minds but they sound pretty resolved. so, it could actually go to the assembly first for a vote in the house. they recessed until 9:00 a.m. host: where are there any seats for compromise or deadlines that may force a compromise? caller: gov. walker said there really is no compromise on this issue. he has been very clear that he would not be open to any amendments that would undermine what he called the integrity or the main concept of his bill of limiting collective bargaining on anything but wages. we are trying to figure route how long the standoff can last and how the democratic -- long the democratic senators can stay away. the halls of a capital have been
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packed listens monday but growing every day. we dealt know how long the protests will continue. on president obama billion dollar transportation department budget for 2012. the transportation secretary was our guest on this morning's washington journal. it's 40 minutes.contin screen making aking return visit to thea washingtol journal we are pleased to have the secretary of transportation ari lahood. t we want to talk about the budget but i want to starte budget but i want to start with a budget battle in florida over high-speed rail because you are right in the middle of it. tell our audience about. guest: the governor decided he did not want to move ahead -- after two decades of planning by
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rail enthusiasts and government officials, after a very strong commitment on the floor of the legislature come after our commitment to give the second largest amount of high-speed rail money, over $2 billion, the governor made the decision that he doesn't want to move ahead with this. we have really accommodated every concerned that he had. i met with the governor on three different occasions and we talked about high-speed rail on all three occasions. and we addressed the issues that he wanted addressed. he did not want the state to be on the hook for any money. the state would not have been on the hope for any money and all of the ridership studies showed that high-speed rail would have been successful. a lot of doesn't -- disappointed people in florida today who have been working on high-speed rail for more than two decades and we made a commitment to the
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florida congressional delegation yesterday, led by senator nelson, that we would take the next week to figure out -- if they could figure out if there could be another group that could accept this money other than the state. all of our high-speed rail money has gone to the states, has gone to the governors. so, we need to find somebody else. they need to find somebody else. if they could do that in a week, we will try to work with that group. if not, over $2 billion that we were going to get to florida for high-speed rail will be allocated to other states. host: in the the budget proposal, you have a one-year and a six-year transportation plan he presented to the congress. the high-speed rail project, 53 -- how does the partners of work with the states? how would the 53 allocated and what responsibilities do the states have? guest: the states have a
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responsibility to match of the money we give them. they can do it if they have private investors -- they can do it through the legislature. states have done it in many different ways. at $53 billion over the next six years continues the down payment of $11 billion that we allocated already to several states around the country. we will get additional states and the high-speed rail business and we would enhance some states we were not able to get -- of all the money to that they needed. the president's vision is a bold vision for high-speed rail. no one has ever talked about this really. and president obama and vice president biden decided they wanted to get the country into a high-speed intercity rail and connect 80% of america over the next 25 years. that is half the time it took to build the interstate system. our investment would be to states, matched with the money from the state's or resources that they can provide. host: let me give you the phone numbers, because we would like
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to have you join in the discussion. the transportation budget covers a lot more than high speed rail and highway infrastructure -- airports and air-traffic control systems. all modes of transportation really are under the purview of the u.s. department of education. we know many of you have thoughts on this and question is the sow wheat welcome them. one skeptic is a columnist robert samuelson. i know you saw his, but i would like to have you respond to it. here is what he wrote on february 14. there is something wildly irresponsible about the national government underlining states already poor long-term budget prospects by plying them with grants that provide short-term jobs. worse, the rail proposal cast doubt on the administration's commitment to reduce huge budget deficits.
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your chance to respond. guest: amtrak actually made money last year. ridership is way up, on-time service that people can afford. that is not accurate. amtrak made money. we have to think big in america. and in order to really
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accomplish our goals to put people to work, to get the economy going, there is no secret about the fact that transportation does that. we have proven it over the last 24 months with our stimulus money. created 15,000 projects and put 65,000 people to work who would have not been working on those projects have that money not been allocated. the president has a big, bold vision. similar to the big, bold vision, president eisenhower had when he signed the interstate bill. those same critics existed back then. why create a huge interstate system? we know why today, because it connects america. 25 years from now, americans will not only have an interstate that they can drive their cars on, but they will be able to go on a train and go visit their relatives at christmas time or take a vacation. they can go from new york to california, they can take a train all over california. we are going to connect america. this is the same kind of big,
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bold thinking that people came before us had. we are not going to just sit back on an idea that we cannot do big things. we can do big things and we can still work on the deficit also. this kind of criticism, i am sure, was leveled by eisenhower and others that have big, bold visions of connecting merkel with a state of the art interstate system today. i am glad we don't listen to the critics because we probably would never really accomplish any big things. host: to the big numbers. here are the requests the department of transportation asks for in 2010 -- $77 billion. this year, $128 billion. a big increase in two years. what have american taxpayers got and from that increase in funds to dot. guest: what we are really talking about is the idea what we will continue to build roads and bridges. we know there are lots of
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bridges and very bad art this repair and roads that need fixing up of around america. we also want to use the money to increase the capacity for people who want to ride on buses, who want to ride on light rail, communities who want to get into other forms of transportation other than just automobiles. creating opportunities for people. all kinds of transportation. so, we needed to create some additional capacity in this country. we did that by putting money into infrastructure. the one thing that our money does, it puts people to work in a good paying jobs and it creates what kind of capacity for transportation -- roads, bridges, transit, light rail, streetcars, and all kinds of forms of transportation that people really want, of -- and airports that people use on a daily basis. host: the budget request for the
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six-year plan is not fully paid for. there is a gap between what you ask for and what is covered by the highway trust fund. how you pay for it? it raised and gasoline tax? guest: the president has made it clear he does not want to raise gasoline taxes in a lousy economy with almost 9% unemployment. we want to work with congress on a way to pay for it. i think congress recognizes that a strong transportation program will put people to work. we will continue to build our industry in america. it will help state economies that are hard hit by a lack of funds. we will work with congress on how to pay for it. the highway trust fund still exists, paid -- paid for by the gasoline tax that we all pay for. we want to create an infrastructure fund to do big things. big, bold projects, again, that we have been talking about. that would be a pretty good chunk of money.
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but we need to find resources to do this. and we will work with congress to do it. host: how much do we pay on a gallon -- guest: 18 cents. host: has it been at the level since it started? guest: in 1993 the congress raised it -- part of it went to deficit reduction. that was a huge debate when president clinton went into office. part of the way the congress and the president balance the budget that was to raise the gasoline tax in 1993. not all of it went to roads and bridges. it's pretty big source of irritation. part of it went to deficit reduction. host: the first call is from new jersey. jane, a democrat. caller: good morning. in response to the article. a big difference between spending and investment. it will be great for business because not only in the in belize but the merchandise will move faster. the way to pay for it is to change the corporate tax
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structure and have them pay their fair share. they covered it nicely since they really do profit from our infrastructure more than any others. but we have a problem here similar to what is going on in florida with our governor. we had a plant in new york city to have light rail and our -- our governor decided it was something he did not want to do, for all the same reasons the governor of florida listed. i am sorry. secretary look, i honestly believe that our governor as well as the florida governor, who has something in common, they don't want to create jobs, especially if they are coming from the federal government, because it means they will be union workers. they honestly want to see this country failed because that will ensure that they have more of a chance of being elected in the next election cycle. it breaks my heart to watch.
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but i can see that with the transportation situation and i can also see it in the education policies. host:, we have a lot of callers. thank you. guest: where disappointed when the arc program for people travelling from new jersey to new york, with thousands do every day -- they have a 100- year-old, and there is not enough capacity. this was a very good project. but governor chris christie made the decision and decided to terminate the project. host: you expressed optimism about working with republicans in congress. let us listen to paul ryan, budget committee chairman. >> not a fan of high-speed rail. we are rescinding a high-speed rail stimulus in the current cr. i think there is a $53 billion
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high-speed rail initiative. that is something we just disagree with that -- we disagree with the high-speed rail. i can tell you about the wisconsin plan. calling it a boondoggle would be generous. we are rescinding the funding for this year and we do not think it is a good investment. >> i believe it totals $120 billion over a period of time and the president's proposal to have it within walking distance of 80% of americans is a bit ambitious. and and and time when we have no money, you know -- and i raised the question about the train that comes through my home town of mobile. it goes through three days a week at 1:00 a.m. going east and 2:00 a.m. three days a week going west. not a lot of people use it. their areas of the country that can use better rail -- no doubt about it, and we should use forward with that but this plan is way too ambitious. and our governor in wisconsin
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and john kasich of ohio opposed the program and the bill we are bringing today, or tomorrow, to the floor, reasons that money for ohio and wisconsin and i think that is the kind of thing we ought to be doing in the future. host: secretary lahood, your reaction? guest: i agree that it is a very ambitious plan. the same kind of big, bold vision of the presidents have had. and we don't take a back seat to anybody when it comes to having -- the president is dreaming big about high-speed rail but there are a lot of americans dreaming big about high-speed intercity rail because it puts people to work, it builds new infrastructure, it builds a new capacity, it is what americans want and we did rescinded the money from wisconsin and ohio because those two governors decided they did not want to move ahead with the project. but i go back to what i said before. 50 years ago there are governors and elected officials is said, we don't need an interstate system.
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50 years later we have a state of the art interstate system that delivers people all over this country in a very efficient way. 25 years from now, we will be connecting people and delivering people on high-speed trains because of the president and vice president's vision to connect america. this is what americans want and we are moving ahead of it. host: i know you are a lincoln died. this twitter, it has a little bit of history to it -- i know you are a lincoln guy -- guest: ehud talk about somebody with a big vision, it was president lincoln -- you talk about somebody with a big vision. he started the intercontinental route of system. i am sure people said, we are in the middle of a war, we do not have any money, why are we doing this? because we elect people to provide the leadership, and in this case, president obama is
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providing very strong leadership in the area of transportation. so the next generation, susan, will have the same benefit that our generation has but the interstate system. we will provide the next generation with the next generation of transportation, high-speed enters bit -- interstate rail. chris, florida. caller: can you hear me? host: you need to turn your mute on your tv. caller: sorry. i just took off of speaker. i apologize. i am a truck driver for landst ar -- i am concerned about the cross border program in trucking that allows mexican trucks -- it seems to me the self-employed owner-operator will have a hard time competing with this. can you, mr. gluck, and you tell you will fully implement but
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cross border trucking program -- mr. lahood? guest: the reason why we will implement it. i did not know if we have enough time to discuss this. the nafta agreement, signed by our government and the mexican government, calls for cross border trucking. congress suspended at about two years ago. we have a proposal that we are working with the mexicans on to restart that program. the answer is, it is considered a pilot program. it is not necessarily a full- blown program. but we intend to restart the program because it is in the law. the law requires us to do it. we don't want to cause it will be restarted. we will work with trucking companies in the united states to make sure it doesn't impinge on your ability to continue to have a job and make money. host: here is all look at the dollars behind the six-year
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transit division. paul requested -- host: tell me about the national infrastructure bank. guest: apot of money to debate, significant projects. i was just in nevada. i was dedicating a bridge the goes over the hoover dam. that project was started seven years ago. people were thinking big. we know there are big, bold, significant projects in america that need to be funded. we will continue to use the highway trust fund to fund transportation projects.
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we'll use the infrastructure bank to leverage some private dollars to leverage some other dollars from the states to continue to build a significant projects around the country -- bridges, finishing interstates, and other types of infrastructure. host: our next call comes from morgantown. caller: am i on the air? the last caller was talking about the cross border truckers per if you could get the truckers to get the trucks up to code, there are a lot of trucks on the road. they will get the bridges and roads. i think it would be a lot better spent than the high-speed rail. if people want to go somewhere, they get on amtrak and the go slower. we cannot afford this right now. a lot ex-presidents have had big
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vision. we're about to go broke in the government right now. we need to think about getting andregular roads straight not the rich people back and forth. things have been slow. 20 years ago,, 50 years ago, we had people who wanted to work. people to not want to work no moderate welfare queens, they don't want to work. i don't see how you can get this made. host: let's get a response. guest: people want to work. i have been to more than 40 states and over 100 cities. there are people that want to work. we create 15,000 projects were stimulus money. we put 65,000 people to work. people want to work. they want to work in good-paying jobs. we're going to creep that
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opportunity with the kind of bold vision that president obama has for infrastructure and high- speed rail and doing big things for our country. host: we have a twitter who asked this question. what is the role of government and what can be done by the private sector? we have some experience in washington with a highway that was built and people pay to use it. help us understand what you see is the public sector responsibility. guest: europe and asia have good high-speed trains. people come back and scratched their heads. the government made big investments. private companies made huge investments, too. there are probably six companies in america, in california,
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florida, illinois beginning to set up businesses to build train sets and to build the infrastructure. they are going to make huge investments. it is not just the investment we have made. there will be huge private investments from companies who know how to build train sets and infrastructure. this will be a good public- private partnership. these will corridors will become economic engines. you'll see businesses along these corridors. you'll see lots of jobs. we have told foreign manufacturers to come to america and hire americans to build american trains that will be used by the american people, taking shuddered plants in ohio or illinois or someplace else, and use it to hire american workers. we have a lot workers that can build train sets. our vision is this. build american trains for american people. this is what our leaders did
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years ago in terms of having a big vision. this is what we need to do for the next generation of transportation. host: harrisburg, pennsylvania. caller: this is wayne. i was born and raised in the inner city. i am a carpenter. that was my chance to make it to not just middle class but to make a good living. where did the people in the inner city go to get these jobs? and why do you have to have a license to get these jobs when you can take transportation that get to their perfect i am ill little nervous. that is my main problem. people in the inner city wanted jobs. they want a decent job. that is all i have to say. guest: thank you for your call. it goes to the point i made
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earlier. there are americans that want to work. people want jobs. because of the investment that this administration, that president obama is making in transportation and many other areas, housing, education. people will be able to get good- paying jobs in the case of transportation, and building infrastructure, building new capacity. in the case of education, the opportunities hopefully will be provided to folks. but this president has a vision for investing in those kinds of opportunities that do create jobs. host: we saw senator sessions on that video we saw it earlier. we have a tweet. i will use that as a way to talk
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about your views as a member about the budget battle. guest: i came here in 1994 as a member of congress after being a staffer. i have seen these budget battles go on year in and year out. a lot of new members were elected this year on an agenda of fiscal responsibility, bringing down the deficit. i was in a class of 73 republicans and 13 democrats, one of the largest class is a came in 1994, republicans came into the majority. i am a majority. speaker gingrich was the speaker. we had huge debates. we had long sessions at the end of the morning, voting on amendments. i was here when we had the government shut down. so it seems like these things
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are old cyclical. in the end, the congress will have to get it right with the administration for the american people so that we do continue programs that make investments and to continue making sure the government is providing the services that we have told people we would do. host: are you planning for the possibility of a government shutdown? guest: we have not discussed that. i think those of us that have been in congress-watchers believe that this matter will be resolved in a way that will not lead to a government shutdown. that is good for no one. host: next call from sarasota, florida. caller: good morning. the governor who i voted for horrified me when he decided not to do this high-speed rail program. this is the second time one of
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our governors has abandoned this project. we had jeb bush -- the voters voted on a bond issue. he came in and said no. florida is a long headstay, difficult to get around the state. -- florida is a long state. the only way you can do it is on highways. we're delighted to have them. if you could connect our airports, tampa to orlando, unit gets these people moving. i can see a lot of ridership there. in times of a hurricane, you could put a lot of people out of harm's way on a high-speed rail and get them up to someplace out of the hurricane's path. you could have done that perhaps in new orleans, getting those people out. i see this as a public benefit. host: to live.
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let's go to tampa. this is bob. caller: good morning. i am an unemployed air traffic controller. five or six years ago, lockheed martin took 3000 of bust and reduced the workforce by 80%. i was wondering -- a bill was being supported the would of restarted our pensions. i lost my career, and i lost my pension after 19 years of federal service. i was wondering if you would support that and to make sure this thing will not happen again. host: are you still unemployed? caller: there are no jobs. host: thank you for your call. he mentioned the next gen
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system. guest: florida has a very strong high-speed rail program that connects orlando to tampa and then connects orlando to miami. it is a plan that people have worked on for more than 20 years. we gave floor mat the second amount of high-speed rail money because they had a good plan that made good investments -- we gave florida the second of high- speed rail money. my suggestion for the gentleman who is laid off, i know the faa is looking for opportunities for people. i would encourage you to go on making faa website. next generation technology is the highest priority for the president. as you can see, we put significant resources in for next generation. that is technology that will go
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into every airport. that is the technology that allows air traffic controllers to guide planes in and out of airports. the next generation technology is like putting a new computer in every airport and putting in new computer, if you will, into every airplane, so that planes can be guided more safely, saved and there's a strong commitment from this administration to fund this and to make it happen. we have made some investments in the gulf of mexico and other places. we're prepared to make a strong commitment for the next generation technology. host: we're talking about airports and airlines. there is revenue involved. spending cuts. the construction cuts and grants for airport improvements --
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host: what is the new proposal? guest: i do not have that off the top of my head. it allows airlines to put an additional fate that then goes to the airports to do some of the improvements. you have played some of these members of congress saying there has to be some reductions. we have made a reduction turkish airports want to continue to improve capacity, add capacity come the way to do it is to add this fee or have the airline's ades add this fee. host: airlines have been lobbying about this suggestion. what is your response to that?
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guest: i think the airlines have done pretty well. most of the airlines are making money. they have put additional fees on passengers. there's a fee for a blanket or a pillow. this allows them to get too much better bottom line. we're going to work with the airlines. we want to make sure we have a strong airline industry. we want to make sure that they can continue to offer people the kind of airline prices where people can continue to fly and take vacations. it is a delicate balance. we want a strong airline industry. host: pennsylvania, you're on with secretary llahood. caller: you get more bang for the buck if you did not award
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all these contracts to unions. people from the inner-city -- if they get in -- i moved from new jersey. you have contractors that have a lock on everything. the electric bill, everything. every infrastructure is covered by the unions. you are lucky if you get hired by the unions. what are you going to do about non-union workers on some of this work? guest: on federal contracts, the prevailing wage has to be paid. that is a strong provision of the law. it is something this administration supports and believes it allows people to get a good wage for the hard work
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that people put in. that is something that has been in the law. we support that. it does provide good wages to people on this federal jobs. host: could you explain the 4 per $1 billion requested on some recalled a little committee -- a $4.1 billion request? guest: that is offering alternatives than other just automobiles. dot has been good at building roads and bridges and infrastructure. the program is about light rail and a good buses, serving rural america was good bus service, good transportation. it is about communities like washers, d.c., -- like washington, d.c., and atlanta, georgia, getting back to a
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street car business. more walking and biking paths. it is a comprehensive approach to transportation. washington is a classic example of a little ball community. you can live in this town and not own an automobile. you can get on a natural or a bus -- you can get on a metro or a bus. you can get to the baltimore airport by taking the marc train. eventually you can get to the dulles airport on the metro. there should be options for people, is best for those who do not have a car or do not drive a car or cannot afford the insurance for a car. we have many different options for mobility. host: callers in washington are complaining you propose to cut the budget for metro.
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guest: we have a strong relationship with the metro system. we have held their feet to the fire on the safety issues. we have allocated millions of dollars for them to be able to buy new equipment and new, safer metro cars for the metro system. there are others who do want to make reductions. we think this system is very strong. we have been good partners with them. host: so no cuts. guest: that is correct. caller: i wanted to make the point -- this or al -- florida is a terrorist state -- this or for itself.ay it will create jobs. florida is one of the highest
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unemployment rates. i don't understand why the governor is so against it. he is not given a concrete reason that i have heard as to why he is so against it. guest: i met with the governor on several occasions to talk about high-speed rail. he raised some concerns. we addressed those concerns. this particular project as a part of our high-speed rail project will put thousands of people to work building the infrastructure for the high- speed rail, building the train sets for the high-speed rail, and then the employment that is created when you have a train system in your state. there is a number of jobs that people that manages the trains. this is a job producer. it is also the next generation of transportation for america.
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the next generation of transportation for florida and a floridians. to see what the governor said. the concerns that he raised, we address. host: connecticut, steve. you're on with the secretary. we lost steve. i wanted to use this tweet. this is a tweet that says streetcars have replaced buses. we grew up in an age where there still were some streetcars in american cities. the cyclical nature of america's transportation system is rather interesting. guest: in my hometown, i remember growing up writing streetcars -- riding streetcars. streetcars are not a replacement for buses.
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they are another option. streetcars are made in america. they are made in portland, oregon. we don't decide if a community wants a streetcar system. the mayors and city councils to decide that. many areas have decided that. where streetcars exists, people use them. they are a great option for people. it is another form of transportation in their communities are getting back to. host: you remain optimistic despite the budget battle that congress will fund your budget. guest: i served in copper is for 16 years. -- i served in congress. we passed two bills. the past bipartisanly. -- they
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passed bipartisan way. this bill is a bill to put americans to work, building american roads and bridges and high-speed rail for the american people for the next generation of americans. that is what this is about. i am optimistic that this congress will pass a bipartisan transportation bill the way that every other congress has donee tecause it matheson: what's happening on the floorlvd today. of congressional quarterly joins to talk about the debate in the house on the funding bill for hee federal government.
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when do you think we will see a innal vote? >> they are expecting to go until 2 a.m. tomorrow and then take a break, come back in the morning and then just. people obviously wantnot specifi to know when tamardvice of the commission, the travel cuts could be proposed and both democrats and republicans on the fiscal commission thought this was a productive area to look for savings. i decided to structure this amendment in a way that would point there was one offered by congressman danny of montana but cut the funding for thetment resident obama's health care overhaul and that did pass and the was adesc big victory. anere was another amendment tham was really one of the biggest surprises and cut off the funding or cuddled a program
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that funded the f35 alternative engine and pushing off to thats funding we think that program is too expensive, but it's been supported for years in the house and the senate and so this is a big surprise. it's not clear whether in theene senate today will support thats: move. >> how has the bill changed doil during this amendment process? >> as i was saying, the biggest. hesodments, but generally there have beenn: dozens of amendments that have added to the overall spending cuts compared to president obama's fiscal 2011 a budget request, the underlyingon legislation cut spending by about 100 billion, and each of these amendments generally just had a few million dollars to we eoverall total.
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the spending cut was getting bigger and more to the liking of house republicans. it's been a number of amendments on the planned parenthood but funding, that neutrality, the epa on the small guy and a global warming. what have you heard about thosen >> a lotmaki of those have passg already. planned parenthood, thatnd thatw amendment by the congressman mike pence tester earlier today. largely on the party line vote so was a victory for the dot republicans who feel thatof a planned parenthood provides abortions and even today the government isn't supposed topoiw fund or provide any funding for abortions, but republicans are generally skeptical ovef planned rrenthood and this was important to them, but that is e one of those amendments that was a symbolic victory for the houss republicans it is probably not going to be in any final bill
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signed by president obama.. rogk >> how likely is a government shutdown? >> if ethe house passes the bil utagoing to go to the senate,nm and if the house and the senate. can't agree to the bill then the that results in the government shut down and that would be a major development that hasn't happened since the mid 1990's and generally people have it wouldn't happen but the chance that it has seemingly gone up, speaker johnt boehner said that he wouldn'toti romept any bill that doesn't cut spending and that is different from what the democrats want,cot they want to freeze spending but they don't want to make anyek cuts. it's been a quid otherre options are there besides the flout shutdown? >> evin despite what speaker

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